Debbie & Simon Rutherford are a multi-award winning couple in the Scottish Food & Drinks Industry. DeliQuescent, their small-batch spirits company, is already well-known for its innovative spirits & liqueurs. You may recognise the name Rutherford from the micropub in Kelso, situated in the town square which has recently changed hands. Now with new products launched and restrictions easing, we caught up with Debbie Rutherford about the new focus of DeliQuescent & a new venture in the near future!
What has been happening with DeliQuescent & the Rutherford’s over the past 18 months of lockdown?
When we were forced closed by the Government last March, we thought it would be a short-term thing… it soon became clear that this wasn’t the case, and we started thinking to the future. It was actually really nice to have some time together to work on DeliQuescent, and we weren’t complaining about sampling new flavours!
DeliQuescent has made a name for itself with its innovative flavours – how did you come to decide your new range of Freeze Me/Squeeze Me cocktails?
During the first lockdown, we developed a small range of cocktails and offered free local delivery. That was really well received, but plenty people were contacting us and asking for delivery outwith the local area. Posting bottles is expensive, and, given the fact that so many people had been furloughed, we were really keen to keep the price to a minimum. So, after a bit of experimentation, we came up with the idea to use recyclable pouches. Not only can we post these, but it means the cocktails can be frozen and can be kept for 6 months in the freezer! Of course, this means that, after a couple of hours in the freezer, they are at the perfect consistency to squeeze into a cocktail glass and enjoy an ‘adult slushie’! We were able to expand the range to 7 classic cocktails, which are really popular.
How have your customers reacted to your new range & new direction of DeliQuescent?
The reaction has been fantastic! We had no idea that it would be so well received, and it was a lovely surprise. We attend quite a few Farmers Markets now, and people have been using our free click & collect service to make sure they can get the cocktails they want, as we sell out so quickly!
What is your favourite cocktail to drink/make?
It kind of depends on my mood…. I love the Rum Mojito, as I love fresh mint, but a frozen Pina Colada just sums up summer holidays for me…. I love to make the espresso martini too. We recommend that one is shaken in a cocktail shaker with about 4 cubes of ice until your hands are cold, then strained in to a martini glass. That’s the way to get that lovely froth on top. Of course, it should be garnished with exactly 3 coffee beans, as any other number is considered very rude. An actual insult, and would never be served by a mixologist who knows their stuff!
How do you recommend serving your cocktails?
They are amazing served as frozen cocktails, but also just shaken in a cocktail shaker regular style too. The beauty of them is their simplicity. People have been picking them up to take to barbeques or beach parties. They’re so handy. There are recommended garnishes, but like our gins, we want people just to have fun with them! Drink them whatever way you enjoy them.
Hat-Tip to the Producers
It’s been lovely to catch up with DeliQuescent again and now offer a fantastic range of cocktails perfect for enjoying at home! This summer, with the rise of the staycation, is the perfect time to be enjoying bar-quality cocktails in the comfort of your own home and catching up with friends & family after a tumultuous year. If cocktails aren’t your thing, then check out DeliQ’s range of flavoured gins including the popular Candy Floss Gin or even the World’s First Haggis gin! Their classic gin is called Chi Qui Oui gin perfect for G & Ts, Vespers or Gimlets.
If you’re interested in purchasing these cocktails you can find DeliQuescent at Wooler, Kelso, Jedburgh & Selkirk Farmers’ Markets! You can also shop online or choose click & collect to pick up from your nearest farmers’ market!
Thank you to Debbie for taking the time to answer these questions!